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Montevideo, August 16th 2022 - 03:56 UTC



Uruguayan ministers travel to Paraguay to discuss flexibilization of Mercosur

Saturday, June 5th 2021 - 09:47 UTC
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Mercosur's ban on one-on-one deals creates a greater problem on the bloc's smaller countries Mercosur's ban on one-on-one deals creates a greater problem on the bloc's smaller countries

Uruguay's Economy Minister Azucena Arbeleche and Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo travelled to Paraguay Friday to discuss with the local administration of President Mario Abdo Benítez new steps towards flexibilities Mercosur's rules.

This trip is regarded as a preparation for the upcoming meeting of Mercosur Foreign Ministers on June 15 where these issues will top the agenda.

Arbeleche and Bustillo were to meet with their Paraguayan counterparts to discuss these matters and also other bilateral questions, it was reported.

The main objective of the meeting is to analyze the flexibility of Mercosur and other questions regarding the two countries.

Abdo was in Montevideo in February and talked with President Luis Lacalle Pou about steps in this direction and also about allowing Paraguay to have some sort of exit into the Atlantic Ocean.

Uruguay is interested in signing unilateral trade agreements with other countries or blocs, something the founding document of Mercosur, the Treaty of Asunción, clearly forbids.

Such an approach to international affairs is said to have been pursued since the first presidency of the late Tabaré Vázquez (2005-2010).

And Lacalle Pou has insisted once again on this issue, due to which he even had a diplomatic clash with Argentine President Alberto Fernández during a recent Summit.

Lacalle Pou has called these Mercosur restrictions a “corset” tightening the smaller countries of the bloc (Uruguay and Paraguay) and Fernández replied he did not want to be a burden to anyone and that if such was the case whoever felt that way could get off the boat.

Both Uruguayan ministers are due back in Montevideo this Saturday.

But this trip is anything but trivial to Lacalle Pou who Friday adjourned a meeting with his economic advisors to discuss the increase in the price of fuel until Monday, June 7, to brief his envoys on the purpose of their mission.

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